Bile duct stones or gallstones in the bile duct are also known as choledocholithiasis. It is the presence of a gallstone in the bile duct of the patient. The bile duct is a small tube that carries bile from the gallbladder to the intestine. Gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that is placed below the liver towards to upper right side of the abdomen. The stones are either present in the gall bladder or in the bile duct that connects the gall bladder and the intestine.
More than 15 percent of the people suffer from gallstones in the bile duct. This condition obstructs the bile duct passage. A person suffering from bile duct stones may undergo severe pain. The person should be immediately taken to the doctor as they may suffer from severe pain and the doctor may give the patient a painkiller for temporary immediate relief>
The stones present in the bile duct may not cause any symptoms. But once the stones start obstructing the bile duct then the person may experience the following signs and symptoms:
The pain in the bile duct may be irregular, mild at times and severe at times. When the person suffers from severe pain, immediate medical attention is required. People may sometimes misunderstand the symptoms of bile duct stones with some cardiac problem such as heart attack.
When the gall stone gets stuck in the bile duct, the bile that passes from the gall bladder to the intestine may get infected and spreads to various other parts in the body. If the infection spreads to the liver, it may be life-threatening and may lead to complications like pancreatitis, biliary cirrhosis etc.
There are two types of gallstones. The gall stones that develop due to cholesterol are known as cholesterol gall stones and the gallstones that develop due to pigments are known as pigment gallstones. A person develops cholesterol stones if the bile contains the following.
The exact cause of the pigment stones is not known but it may develop due to:
The doctor may first verify the presence of gall stones by the symptoms the patient is experiencing and then he may perform a few tests to diagnose the condition. The tests involved to diagnose choledocholithiasis are:
The following are the treatments to relive the gall stones stuck in the bile duct.
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